Music News Digest, Dec. 18, 2019

Marie-Mai and Quebec students (pictured) celebrate a Band Aid grant, The Poets honour The Hip in Cree, and Mariah Carey tops the charts at Christmas. Also in the news are Jazz Bistro, Jaymz B, Crack of Dawn, ECMAs, Bryan Adams, and farewell Emil Richards.

Music News Digest, Dec. 18, 2019

By Kerry Doole

MusiCounts, Canada’s leading music education charity, was recently joined by Quebec’s pop queen Marie-Mai, MD David Laflèche and Stingray officials for a celebration at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Longueuil, QC. MusiCounts Band Aid Program has supported over 100 Quebec schools and community organizations with over $1.2M in instrument grants and has awarded 64 scholarships to post-secondary students in the province.

— The Poets, a Tragically Hip tribute band from the Moose Cree First Nation on the James Bay coast, is incorporating Cree into the lyrics of a couple of famed Hip songs, Ahead By A Century and Fiddlers Green. The group says that this is a way to strengthen the relationship Gord Downie had with the people of Moose Cree First Nation. Source: CBC


— It's shaping up to be a very Merry Christmas for pop diva Mariah Carey. Her holiday classic All I Want For Christmas Is You has reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time since its release in 1994. It also stands as her 19th number one entry on the Hot 100, making history as the most Hot 100 #1’s by a solo artist ever and just one behind the tally of the Beatles.

— Since 2013, Toronto's Jazz Bistro has been spearheaded by Sybil Walker. She is now moving on, and is replaced by Heidi Van Vlymen and Todd Bruder. Local jazz impresario and man about town Jaymz B will be looking after all the entertainment booking, scheduling and handling of the artists.

— ECMA and BreakOut West (BOW) are partnering to present the “East Meets West” initiative at the 32nd East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference in St. John’s, NL from April 29 - May 3, 2020. Two export ready BOW artists/groups will be selected for showcase performances at the 2020 ECMAs. Artists of all genres can submit here by Jan. 10.


—Veteran Canadian funk act Crack of Dawn has released a new holiday single, It’s Christmas Time. The seasonal tribute to Motown is written by keyboardist Bela Hajmann and saxophonist Alvin Jones.

— Bryan Adams will headline this New Year's Eve concert and celebration in Queen Victoria Park,  Niagara Falls. Walk Off the Earth is also on the bill.


Emil Richards (born Emilio Joseph Radocchia), an American vibraphonist and percussionist, died on Dec. 13, age 87.

In the '50s and '60s, Richards worked with such artists as George Shearing, Paul Horn, Don Ellis, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Frank Zappa, and extensively with Frank Sinatra. He also worked with instrument innovator Harry Partch and toured with George Harrison.

He would later appear on the scores for over 2,000 films and TV shows, including nine Star Trek films and Planet Of The Apes. Sources:, Wikipedia

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The Weeknd Spotted at Kendrick Lamar's 'Pop Out' Concert in Los Angeles

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